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21 Breed-Specific Canine Illnesses


Due to the specific genetics of various breeds of dog, as well as their unique physiology, some of them have to deal with specific illnesses that simply do not afflict other dogs. Today, we will be looking at those breed-specific diseases and illnesses that your dog can develop, depending on his or her genetic heritage.

We believe that this list will help owners learn at least a bit about the conditions that their canine friends have been diagnosed with and also to learn about them beforehand, before they adopt or buy a certain breed.

1. Achalasia – Finnish Spitz

The Finnish Spitz is a sturdy breed of dog that originated in Finland. These dogs have historically been used in hunting all sorts of game, including bears. It is generally considered to be a very healthy breed of dog, but a certain chink in their genetic armor has been identified, so to say. Namely, they have been found to suffer from a condition called achalasia.

Achalasia is a condition that can affect different sphincters in the body (believe it or not, there are quite a few sphincters in both human and canine bodies). In Finnish Spitzes, this sphincter is the esophageal one, meaning the one in their esophagus.

This condition causes this particular sphincter not to relax properly, making it near impossible for these dogs to swallow food. Most Finnish Spitzes outgrow this condition that usually first appears when they are pups, but it can come back.

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